Omnichannel is an e-commerce strategy that requires linking physical, mobile and web stores so that consumers can shop seamlessly across all channels. Omni-channel (or omnichannel) refers to a sales approach that uses multiple channels to reach customers and provide them with an excellent shopping experience. It covers all the ways brands and customers interact with each other. It is more of a strategy than a business model. We are taking the time and effort to explain this strategy for two main reasons:
- It is one of the main strategies of an e-commerce business.
- It provides a source of data for measuring the customer engagement of an e-commerce business.
Whether they are shopping at a physical store, by phone or by laptop, an omnichannel approach is designed to make shopping as smooth as possible. It means that the end-to-end process – from distribution and promotion to communication and sales – is well-integrated.
Omni-channel vs Multi-channel
Both omni- and multi- are prefixes that suggest “many” or “multiple.” Omni-channel goes beyond utilizing many channels. It is designed to integrate all avenues to ensure that customers will be able to make transactions with their preferred brand in any manner that they want. When a brand adopts an omnichannel approach, details entered by customers through one channel will be integrated with all other channels.
With non-essential retail chains closing their doors to help combat the spread of COVID-19, retailers have been relying on omnichannel services to keep their stores afloat.
- 78% of online shoppers have used some omnichannel feature in the last six months, according to Digital Commerce 360.
The same source, who published a 2021 omnichannel report, stated that:
- 61.6% of retail chains in the top 1000 offer both buy online or pick up in-store.
- 21.7% of consumer brand manufacturers with stores, 20.6% of catalogue/call centre retailers with stores, and 20.4% of web-only merchants with stores offer this omnichannel feature.
- 38% – The percentage of shoppers who say they will “buy online, pick up in store” more frequently over the next six months
- 82.3% – The percentage of stores analysed with a dedicated parking spot for shoppers picking up online orders.
- 78% – The number of stores analysed that could get the product in a customer’s hand within two minutes of them entering the collection line.
This article was written by José Ramírez Terc, specialist in 21st century business models.
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